The Monitor article "Best US factory jobs in rising jeopardy," with the subhead "As productivity abroad rises, US manufacturing is competing by trimming workers and wages" (Feb. 15) explains that recent employment cuts have added many workers to the unemployment lists and subjected thousands to look for new jobs.
Some people have found a spiritual outlook helpful when they are without a job. Looked at spiritually, every one of us, children included, is rightly employed. Our employment is to express God's qualities – love, intelligence, strength, patience, and goodness. Mary Baker Eddy, who founded Christian Science, wrote, "If God, who is Life, were parted for a moment from His reflection, man, during that moment there would be no divinity reflected. The Ego would be unexpressed, and the Father would be childless, – no Father" ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy," p. 306).
While Mrs. Eddy expressed profound spiritual understanding, as the above statement reveals, she always related these fundamental truths to humanity's needs. This newspaper results from her love for people and desire for their thoughts and lives to be uplifted.
Here's an example of an individual who made spiritual truth practical in his life. He had been unemployed for some time and found help through talking with a Christian Science practitioner. The practitioner told him that his true nature was to express good. She also told him that he could always be active in doing something good and helpful to others, even if it involved nothing more mentally demanding than sweeping the sidewalk. This highly trained man did just that, rejoicing with each sweep of the broom that he was employed in doing good. He had a job offer by week's end.
Another individual, whose job did not begin to use her skills, was out walking during her lunch hour. She noticed a shadow cast by a low-flying airplane and realized that the shadow could do nothing on its own. She reasoned that all true expression is a reflection of God and that she was always fully employed in expressing His qualities. When she returned to her office, she received a telephone call offering her a job that used all of her talents.
Whether unemployed or underemployed, you can insist that your God-given talents are not to be wasted. One of Christ Jesus' parables addresses this issue, whether the word "talent" is thought of as money or a natural endowment of ability.
The parable tells of a man who was going "to a far country" and left his "talents" in the hands of three people. "And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money" (Matt. 25:15-18). When the man returned, he took the talent from the one who had buried it and not used it, but praised and rewarded the others.
This story illustrates the spiritual demand to use our God-given talents. Our reward comes through increased opportunities to do good.
Whether you're underemployed and your talents are not used, or you are not being sufficiently paid for what you do, you can take some time each day to value your spiritual abilities and find recompense there. Reward does not always come through financial reimbursements, just as our needs are not always met through financial means. Each of us is destined to express the divine Creator; we're all created to express goodness.
The better we understand that God would not be fully expressed without each one of us doing our rightful part, the more the job market will be full and the services and products worthwhile.